International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics
Sunday, 26.03.2017, 10:18
Candidate CEO sees Riga Airport's future in transcontinental flights
"Riga Airport is currently the Baltic region's undisputed leader, offering the widest range of destinations and handling more than five million air passengers a year, but we cannot rest on our laurels. Transcontinental flights will ensure the airport's continued growth, attract new passengers and give our airport a competitive advantage in the Baltic region," Lice said in a statement to the press. To achieve this, the airport has to increase its revenue from commercial operations, which will allow the airport to set competitive tariffs.
Outlining the airport's short-term goals, Lice said that Riga Airport has to properly prepare for the upcoming summer season when the number of air passengers is expected to spike as carriers are planning to open 14 new routes from Riga. Lice is confident that the airport will be ready for this as a number of improvements have already been made at the airport.
The purpose of these improvements is to provide comfortable conditions to our passengers while work is still ongoing on the major expansion of the airport's passenger terminal. The project provides for building a new public area at the terminal with a spacious check-in hall, a baggage hall and a multi-floor parking facility, Lice said.
Lice also mentioned environmental issues as a significant aspect of the airport's operations. "The airport is currently at work on a Cohesion Fund project that will enable environmentally-friendly infrastructure improvements, reducing emission volumes and pollution," Lice said.
As reported, the Supervisory Board of the Latvian state-owned company Riga International Airport has decided to nominate Board Member Ilona Lice for the currently vacant post of the airport's Chair of the Management Board.
The competition for the post of the Chair of the Management Board was organized in two rounds. In the first round a competent jury reviewed the 17 applicants, shortlisting three best candidates for the second round which was held in the form of a structured interview to assess the candidates' ability to provide competent answers to aviation-specific questions, their strategic planning capabilities, management capabilities, the ability to set goals, make decisions and assume responsibility, communication skills and foreign language skills. Of the three shortlisted candidates, Lice got the highest score.
Since 2011, Ilona Lice has been serving as a member of the Management Board at Riga International Airport. She has mainly been responsible for matters related to the company's business activities, ensuring revenue growth from the airport's commercial areas, premises and land plots, as well as supervising provision of ground handling services. Several times she had been appointed as the acting Board Chair, ensuring stability and continuity in the company. Lice has been working in the aviation industry already since 2005, when she became a Supervisory Board member at Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme [the state-owned air traffic controller]. She has also acquired considerable experience in managerial positions in both the public administration and the business sector.
Ilona Lice holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Latvia. She has taken part in top-level specialized training for aviation business managers, supplementing her knowledge in training programs offered by Cranfield University in the UK, Airports Council International (ACI) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The Latvian Transport Ministry as the shareholder of Riga International Airport has to approve the candidate for the post of the Chair of the Management Board.
As reported, Armands Jurjevs, who took office as the Board Chairman of Riga International Airport at the end of October 2016, tendered his resignation letter in early January this year but was evasive in his comments about the reasons behind his resignation. Jurjevs announced his resignation on the following day after a visit to the airport by Artis Stucka, an advisor to Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers), but Stucka also refused to disclose the details of his conversation with Jurjevs.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltic states. More than 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer 60 destinations in the winter season and 80 in the summer season.